Planning the M.O.A.T.

I added it up once. I’ve been riding motorcycles for 52 years now and figured out that I have put over 400,000 miles on the various machines that I’ve had over the years. I know that the total is not a world record or even significant to anyone except me. A few years ago I purchased a trike so I could continue to take long trips with my wife. I must admit that purchasing the trike was based partly on a medical issue I had which turned out to be temporary, thankfully. Riding a trike is great but I felt like it did not offer the same sense of adventure that a big touring bike had. That means that I never gave up my Big Red Machine (2017 Harley Ultra Limited).

The trike is good for 2 up adventures

If you follow this blog, you already know that we took a trip to New Mexico last summer (on the trike). It was a great trip but still was not the 2 wheeled journey. Big Red is good for my bruised ego.

I share an interest in route planning software / apps with a good friend, Max. One day Max sent me a copy of his latest idea. When I opened it up I couldn’t believe what he had in mind. I’ll try to describe it —- take a rough version of a figure “8” and lay it sideways on the United States. The crossing point of the “8” is placed on central Indiana and the upper / lower portions of the 8 cover the country, touching both coasts. Wow!

At one of our breakfast meet-ups, I talked to Max about this trip that he is calling a “Bucket List Ride”. “How long are you going to be gone?” I asked. Max’s response, “About 8 weeks or so.” Yikes, that’s a little more challenge than I was up for. It seems that Max is finally going to retire and wants to do this ride with the rest of his retired friends.

I had been talking to my wife about a solo trip. It was mostly to prove to myself that I could still ride a big touring bike over long distances. I wasn’t thinking about an 8 week cruise with others. She actually put the 2 ideas together and said “You should go. How many times are you going to get a chance like this?” .

Is this a trap? If I do something like this will she move away while I’m gone? Her comment did make me start thinking about joining Max’s ride. Max and a few others were ready at our next breakfast get together. The trip was now just the western portion of the “8”. It was down to 3 to 6 weeks and about 6,600 miles. Hmmmm. I’m pretty certain my wife couldn’t pack up all our junk in 3 weeks so I was more certain she would be there when I got home. I haven’t taken a solo trip in many years – safety in numbers. This just might work

Funny how the seed of an idea can take root. I think I have it in me to ride 6,600 miles on Big Red. If not, I carry a “for sale” sign so I can find the bike a new owner, even on the road.

Big Red looking for adventure

The trip which I now refer to as “The Mother of All Trips” (M.O.A.T.) is very much still in the planning stages. There are 4 of us right now (Max, Mike F, Mike R, and me). Max is doing all the heavy lifting of consolidating our ideas into the plan.

I’ve received all of the state maps (thank you AAA). We’ve met a couple of times over dinner at one of my favorite restaurants (Free Pie Wednesday’s). The plan is starting to take shape. The next big hurdle is for me to get a motorcycle nickname so I’ll fit in with the others (Good To Go, 180, and Short Cut). I think my moniker of “Getting older by the minute” is too long.

Thank you AAA

It would be a good chance to put more pins in the map. At least it will be a fun way to pass the winter. Stay tuned.

3 thoughts on “Planning the M.O.A.T.

  1. This is so exciting, Ron! I’m with your wife, you should go. Keep me posted on the MOAT! I did stop by Mann’s today, I’m going to retire Goldie in the spring. 😀

  2. Reading this post made me think of the movie “Wild Hogs”. Sounds like a cool trip. I am with Jana, you should go.
    As far as the nickname of the bike…..well I might suggest “Erli Rambler” . You always start these adventures in the morning or over breakfast, and then annotate in the blog. I look forward to reading about how this adventure develops.

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